The Trust of Children

Via a predictably political RI Future post, I came across this even more predictably political DailyKos post:

You do not abuse the trust of children. If you find out about the possible abuse of children, you have a duty to stop it. A duty. An imperative. An oath. All those words that men say, and seldom, apparently, mean.
Because sexual abuse ruins lives forever. What happened to Foley came full circle, from molested victim to predator himself. And now new children are involved, and new lives have been affected, forever.
That is why you do not abuse the trust of children. That is why it was so very important, when the red flags were raised, from 2001 onwards, from 2003 onwards, from 2005 onwards; you have a duty to do more than the most minimally possible nothing.

Perhaps it’s my scandal fatigue again that hears tones of disgustingly cynical political posturing in Kos’s post, but it’s rich, nonetheless, to hear preaching about abusing the trust of children from the representatives of the party of easy divorce and easier abortion.

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Brad Fric
Brad Fric
14 years ago

Criticizing democrats or media coverage is a side show here. This is about Foley and Hastert.

SusanD
SusanD
14 years ago

Not to mention that (as far as we know) Foley never got physically involved with the pages. As opposed to US Rep Gary Studds from Massachusetts and his involvement with a 16 year old. Did any Dems or left leaning commentators like Kos say anything remotely as condemnatory then about Studds?
What Foley did was unacceptable. But whether you speak out against someone’s actions should not depend on whether it’s your ox being gored.

brassband
brassband
14 years ago

The problem that I have with all this is that there is very little attention to the details of the facts in the media and among the politicians who are commenting.
Based on what I have been able to string together, it appears that most of Foley’s bad emails and IMs related to former pages with whom he was in contact after they left the program. At least some of these individuals were over 18 (or over 16, the age of consent in DC) when he communicated with them.
He’s obviously a pig who will some day be assigned his own place on the Clinton-Packwood scale of disgustingness . . . but that is not necessarily a crime and we need to be very careful in assigning blame to others for his piggish, Clintonic behavior.
And I think it is very irresponsible to call for the Speaker’s resignation without having a much more complete picture of the facts.
The analogy is flawed between the Speaker and the Roman Catholic Bishops who tolerated/covered up in the clergy scandal. The Speaker does not have the same type of power or responsibility for an individual congressman that a Bishop has for an individual priest.
Also, one cannot ignore the members of the media and/or political operatives who had this story and sat on it until now . . . if Foley’s conduct is criminal and if these reporters and others knew of it, they had a duty to report it and their failure to do so is a federal crime (misprision of a felony).

rhody
rhody
14 years ago

If I were a Republican congressman right now, I’d be calling for Hastert’s head on a plate. The coverup has probably endamgered more GOP seats than Foley’s actions did.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

I don’t remember the dems getting bent out of shape when Barney Frank’s barely legal gay boyfriend was running a prostitution ring out of Barney’s basement.

jay
jay
14 years ago

When Mr. Katz talks about the “party of easy divorce” is he talking about the party of Newt Gingrich,Bob Barr,Dick Armey,George Allen,Ronald Reagan,Bob Dole,John McCain and many more who took the path to “easy divorce” ?

James
James
14 years ago

Scandal fatigue? Are you on meth? I’ll include he transcript of what hapenned below. It’s from ABC news. Tell me if it’s manufactured or real. If you think it’s still manufactured after reading this, you are morally bankrupt.
Maf54 (7:54:31 PM): where do you unload it
Xxxxxxxxx (7:54:36 PM): towel
Maf54 (7:54:43 PM): really
Maf54 (7:55:02 PM): completely naked?
Xxxxxxxxx (7:55:12 PM): well ya
Maf54 (7:55:21 PM): very nice
Xxxxxxxxx (7:55:24 PM): lol
Maf54 (7:55:51 PM): cute butt bouncing in the air

Olson Petiti
Olson Petiti
14 years ago

And just to add, those IMs were to a 17-year old. That is illegal in all 50 states.

Olson Petiti
Olson Petiti
14 years ago

And just to add, those IMs were to a 17-year old. That is illegal in all 50 states.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

Is it? The age of consent in most states is below 18. It’s 16 in Massachusetts. I’m sure if it’s legal to have sex with a 16 year old, it’s ok to talk about sex online with them, too.
The great thing about this story is that Dems actually think it’s going to affect the elections their way. I think it’s going to do just the opposite. Republicans are going to get out and vote as a way to fight back against the Dems usual ‘October Surprise’ dirty tricks.
If this was such an important issue, why did all of these ‘boys’ not make a stink about it months or years ago?

Johnson
Johnson
14 years ago

Greg,
The issue is not whether the e-mails were against the boys wishes. By that dumb logic, you could say all drug dealers are innocent, because their customers “didn’t make a stink about it.” The e-mails were illegal. becaue they are against the law.
Johnson

Alex Tai
Alex Tai
14 years ago

Regardless of their legality, those e-mails demonstrate moral depravity. I want people in DC that represent my values. Gay sex is not my value. Gay pedophilia is disgusting.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

“I want people in DC that represent my values.”
What values does Patrick Kennedy represent? Or Ted? Or Bob “Grand Wizard” Byrd?
We send people to Washington. People have flaws. All people. We can’t send perfect people. They simply don’t exist.
Am I supporting Foley? No. But we have to put ‘talking dirty to pages’ in context with ‘killed a girl in his car while driving drunk and ran away’ and ‘lynched the negroes’.

Suzanne
Suzanne
14 years ago

“Perhaps it’s my scandal fatigue again that hears tones of disgustingly cynical political posturing in Kos’s post, but it’s rich, nonetheless, to hear preaching about abusing the trust of children from the representatives of the party of easy divorce and easier abortion.”
What an unfortunate thing to say. Do you truly believe that one party holds a monopoly on the best interests of children? And, if so, how do you explain the desire to protect individuals and institutions that have turned the other way with child abuse.
If not, are you not just adding to the cynical atmosphere yourself?
Child abuse is not “owned” by ideology, and good people of all political stripes – liberal or conservative – can find it horrifying and work to change it. It is unfortunate that you have looked upon this scandal and added to the cynical political nature of it with this post.

Justin Katz
14 years ago

Well, James, Olson, Johnson, and Alex — whichever of you is currently using the computer that you apparently share — I didn’t say Foley behavior wasn’t unconscionable.
It’s good that he’s resigned. It’s fortunate that he got caught before (as far as we can tell) he ventured beyond inappropriate text messaging.
What I’m fatigued by is:

  1. The predictability of reactions — depending less on the issue than on the political affiliation of the subject.
  2. The quick attempts to spread/limit the damage without adequate information, and again with political predictability.
  3. The handling of this sort of individual indiscretion as if it is the most important news of the day.
Justin Katz
14 years ago

Suzanne,
I said nothing remotely mistakable as “one party holds a monopoly on the best interests of children.” I was reacting to Kos’s hyperbolic rant about the “trust of children.”
I will admit, though, that it may be time to stop presuming a large difference between the political parties. As Jay points out above, they are all representative of nothing so much as a ruling elite. Perhaps I should have written “representatives of the ideology of…”

Justin
Justin
14 years ago

Justin,
Are you checking IP addresses or something? Guess what…that’s cheap. Respond to what is said. Don’t use your technological advantage to discover who said it.
Justin

Sigmund
Sigmund
14 years ago

What are you, a member of the gestapo? Do you hide behind your ownership of the blog when you know the dirt against your boy is so filthy, depraved, vile, and repellant that it’s impossible to deny?

Justin Katz
14 years ago

No. When I am emailed the comments to my posts, the messages include the IP addresses. Sorry to have caught you in your attempt to make it seem as if you’ve more company than you do.
At any rate, it’s surely plain to anybody reading that I have responded substantively and that you are the one using distracting and bullying tactics rather than argumentation.
Respond or go away. You’re one distracting comment from being banned. (That’s just fair warning, by the way, not a threat.)

Fred on the Blog
Fred on the Blog
14 years ago

I am back
This discussion is pretty sad. The Democrats have some points and the Republicans can say there is a double standard when it comes to inappropriate actions on the Hill.
We Republicans have a higher morale standard to live up too. If we can not police our own we have just become Democrats. Foley should not have been able to stay a congressman as soon as someone found out he had an unappropraite emails to a MALE PAGE a few years ago.
I am really disgusted that the Gay community, not only gives this guy a free ride, but consistantly they all get a free ride. Since we as normal heterosexuals are to scared to say anything because it would not be considered politicaly correct.

SusanD
SusanD
14 years ago

“Is it? The age of consent in most states is below 18. It’s 16 in Massachusetts. I’m sure if it’s legal to have sex with a 16 year old, it’s ok to talk about sex online with them, too.”
If you can believe it, Greg, sending the messages to a 16 year old was illegal. If he had had a relation with one of them, it would not have been illegal. The age of consent in DC is 16.
A second irony is that Foley helped write and pass the law (against lurid conversations with someone under 18) that he broke.
Foley is a pig. Make that a weaseley pig, after all the absurd red herrings he tried to throw out.
But I’m still waiting for an answer to my first post, especially from our guests (guest?). Democrat Rep Gary Studds got a 16 year old intoxicated and then had relations with him. Is this more acceptable than what Foley did? Is “gay pedophelia” acceptable if it is committed by a Democrat?

Bobby Oliveira
Bobby Oliveira
14 years ago

Dear SusanD,
If were going to name names, let’s name everybody (Dan Crane, Mel Renyolds, both GOP, Barney Frank, Democrat) all got in trouble from 73 on.
Depending on circumstance and what the younger person thought (read the Studds Committee notes, however, be forewarned about what the young man is going to say – avoid eating at least 2 hours before) the penalties were all different.
In each case, members of both sides of the aisle took to the floor to complain. Back in the old days, the Ethics Committee had a lot more sway. Starting just before the Democrats left, and in keeping with tradition the GOP has left it this way, the House Cmte on Ethics became a joke.
In the Studds case, everybody anticipated something nasty. He got a reprimand and served another 23 years. Every now and again, conservative members from both sides, my party used to have those, would get incensed about this or that and invoke the Studds name.
Personally, esopecially if Mr. Foley is a fellow alcoholic, I think this is between him and his God. The real troubling part is not what he did but that he did it with somebody he may have had supervisory control over.
If the Speaker did know 3 years ago as has been suggested, he has some real explaining to do. However, I demand none of it. Much like a Senator who wanted to be in the cabinet, it will be the right that comes calling.

Olson Petiti
Olson Petiti
14 years ago

Oh no! I’m “one distracting comment from getting banned!” Do you have dictator-fever? Are you 12? If you don’t leave my playground I’m going to tell my mommy on you! I bet you said that a lot, Katz. Be a man, don’t ban.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

Justin,
Please remove this puke from the site. If he’s not going to at least attempt to intelligently move the conversation forward he’s no use to anyone here.

Suzanne
Suzanne
14 years ago

“I will admit, though, that it may be time to stop presuming a large difference between the political parties.”
Why not presume that there are people of good will in BOTH parties who are shocked and horrified by such behavior?
“As Jay points out above, they are all representative of nothing so much as a ruling elite. Perhaps I should have written “representatives of the ideology of…”
Well, yes, this I can believe and agree with. What I can’t believe is the presumption that some have that conservatives have some higher moral standard when it comes to the protection of children. My work within the clergy sexual abuse crisis has taught me that people of all political ideologies recognize bad behavior – but, to be honest, it has been difficult convincing conservatives to become too closely involved in addressing the issues because they automatically assume that any response was a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” response. Conservatives, too, have their blinders on when it comes to child protection, only their blinders are more about preserving authority than they are about protecting sexuality.

Olson Petiti
Olson Petiti
14 years ago

I did intelgiently move the conversation forward. See my posting of the transcript of the text messages, supra, and my disavowal of a man that does not represernt my values. I stopped moving the converastion forward when personal attacks were launched against me and my personalities, without substintive attacks made on my post.
I expect to be banned. If you disagree with the man, you’re gonna get banned.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

“against me and my personalities”
That’s why you’re gonna get banned. Come, discuss, be intelligent. Don’t come here and pretend to be more people than you are just to show that your ‘side’ has support. That’s just childish and stupid.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

Your childish and stupid.

Greg
Greg
14 years ago

Anytime you want to get around to banning him would be great Justin…

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